Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How I Spend My Sept. 11's since 2001

I believe like most Americans do on this day since Sept. 11, 2001, I spend today reflecting and appreciating the blessings in my life: my parents, my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my country, and most of all, my relationship with my Lord and Savior.

One of the most famous pictures from 9/11, photo of three firemen raising the American flag at the site of the World Trade Center attacks. Shot by Thomas E. Franklin, of The Bergen Record, the photo first appeared on Sept 12, 2001 under the title, Ground Zero Spirit. The paper also put it on the Associated Press wire and it appeared on the covers of several newspapers around the world. The photo was a finalist in 2002 for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography.

Sept 11, 2001  
"Where were you when the world stopped turning ....on that September day?"

The north face of Two World Trade Center (south tower) immediately after being struck by United Airlines Flight 175

I will be forever grateful that on that particular Tuesday morning, my day began like nearly every other day had been for me the previous four years.When my husband and I moved to Montana in 1997, the Milwaukee, WI/Lincoln, NE-based public relations and advertising agency I worked for then ~ Bader Rutter & Associates ~ allowed me the opportunity to continue working with them and set up an office in my home.

My husband had already left for work and our nine-month-old son was playing on the living room floor when I turned on NBC News in New York City to watch Katie, Matt, Ann and Al and catch the morning news. By that time, five hijackers had already crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center's North Tower. I called my mom in Nebraska to see if she had been watching the news earlier that morning and had heard anything. She hadn't, so we said our "love you's" and hung up. Soon after, I watched in shocked as another five hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower.

At that point, I picked up my son and held him as tightly as I could. I knew what was happening could be no accident. I started to rock him more for my own comfort than his. Through tears, I prayed, "Dear Lord ~ please be with all those babies whose mommies and daddies went to work in those Towers today."

I called my husband's work and was talking with his boss when the five hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. There was no doubt that our country was under attack and would never be the same.

 What Are You Thankful For Today?

What I was thankful for in 2001 and what I am thankful for and passionate about in 2012 has only intensified. Beyond the blessings I mentioned earlier, I consider it great honor and privilege that I continue to work with individuals and businesses in the public relations and marketing field advocating, promoting, educating, and sharing information about all aspects of agriculture.

Everyday I awaken with an attitude of gratitude for the ability to live and work in these United States of America. Herein lies my passion:

Meeting up with my fellow ag advocate and dear friend, Heidi Nelson of Harvest PR & Marketing, at the Ag Media Summit in Albuquerque, NM

"Amber Waves of Grain" ~ The beauty of an eastern Montana wheat field right before harvest

Talking with  Conrad Weaver, executive film director for the Great American Wheat Harvest (Wheat Harvest Movie) documentary film, and Tracy Zeorian of Zeorian Harvesting & Trucking, who was here all the way from Manley, NE to harvest spring wheat with her husband, Jim, near Jordan, MT. I wore my Husker hat and shirt to make Tracy & Jim feel at home. Melody Dobson, my business partner and national executive co-coordinator on GAWH took the pic.

Taking a pic of my co-National Executive Coordinator, Melody Dobson, as we meet up with the Zeorian Harvesting Crew, who are featured in the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film trailer.

May We Never Forget 

This week as I travel to Nebraska for Husker Harvest Days and Kansas with my co-National Executive Coordinator to represent the Great American Wheat Harvest, I find myself recommitted, dedicated and driven to fulfilling the purpose of the life God has granted me. I love what I do. I hope that you in turn love what you're doing, love who your are becoming and love who you are yet to become.

The events of 9/11/2001 are a reminder to us all that life is too short not to love every minute of it.

"Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: 
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” -- President George W. Bush September 11, 2001.

 "Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to Heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?"
"But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is Love......." 
Lyrics from "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" by Alan Jackson